In your words, what is the AmeriCorps program?
AmeriCorps is a national service agency that connects people from all walks of life to non-profit organizations across the country and enables them to serve in a way that is meaningful to them and to their communities. AmeriCorps is for people wanting to do something bigger than themselves, while at the same time having fun. It can also be a great way to experience a part of the country they’ve never been to.
How did you hear about AmeriCorps?
After college, I was deciding between going to grad school or doing something completely different. I decided that I did not want more schooling, and that I wanted to do something bigger than myself. I figured, “There must be a way for me to serve within the United States, in something like the Peace Corps.”
What was the process like to get placed?
First, one needs to apply on AmeriCorps.gov. The availability of positions at one of the Rebuilding Together affiliates varies from year to year. It’s good to apply early to ensure the best chances of being placed in a program that you like. Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP) was one of the first programs that replied to my application.
What are some of the responsibilities you’ve had with RTP?
As the AmeriCorps Client Coordinator at RTP, my main duties include contacting homeowners for missing documents, communicating with our vendors/subcontractors, going to clients’ homes for previews, and entering information into Salesforce, etc. I also get to go out in the field with our wonderful technician and do some hands-on repairs, from replacing toilets to installing new ceiling fans to constructing a new fence. My duties usually change depending on the day of the week and have been steadily increasing as I’ve gotten more comfortable.
What are some key things you’ve learned?
I think the first thing is that curiosity is a good thing. Being curious allows one to stay hungry for learning things. This also relates to being humble in the lifelong journey of learning. The last thing I want to mention is don’t forget to have fun. What “job” allows someone to travel to a whole new place, help the community, meet new people, all while getting paid? You won’t regret it; I promise.
What is your advice to someone considering AmeriCorps?
If you are trying to figure out what to do in life, but also want to do something bigger than yourself, AmeriCorps is a great option. It allows you to serve the community, while also leaving time to do some self-exploration and reflection. Plus, it won’t hurt your resume!
Who is “right” for an AmeriCorps position at Rebuilding Together Peninsula?
I came to RTP with basically zero knowledge of construction. If you are curious and eager to learn, that is probably the most important thing here. Also, having a sense of humor is a good trait in construction. Life is already hard. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Any last thoughts on your experience?
Time flies. So, make sure to take advantage of every single opportunity that comes your way. And don’t forget to have some fun!
Click here to learn more about AmeriCorps.
Interviewed February 2023